Mount Horeb - Mildred Irma Althen, age 93, died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 at Ingleside Manor.
Mildred was born June 13, 1919 in Milwaukee, the second of eight children of Gerhardt and Elsa (Lange) Prowatzke. Mildred was devoted to God and to her church, Gospel Lutheran, on the north side of Milwaukee, where she was a member for 80 years. She taught Sunday School, was a girl scout leader and served as secretary for the church and grade school. Gospel Lutheran was also responsible for bringing her together with her husband, Earl. Millie answered the door when Earl delivered bakery for a church picnic. That was the start of a long courtship interrupted by four years of war, but ultimately leading to marriage in1948. Elsa, born after six years of marriage and two weeks after Mildred's mother's death, was a gift from God and her mother's joy. They were especially close, and Mildred's world revolved around Elsa. Mildred's last words, after awakening and seeing Elsa by her side were, "My Sweetheart."
'Sweet' was the word that was invariably used to describe Millie. As one friend put it, "it was impossible not to love her". Millie was tender-hearted. She laughed easily, cried easily and had a quirky and playful sense of humor. Her tender hearted nature belied her strength and capacity to prevail. She took care of her mother and father when they were invalids and close to death, as well as caring for Earl after he was disabled by a stroke. She battled pulmonary fibrosis for 9 years, finally succumbing on Feb. 17, 2013.
Millie touched the lives of the people who cared for her during her stay at Ingleside Nursing Home. The staff did more than provide her with good care. They treated her with dignity, handled her gently and spoke to her kindly. Elsa will always be grateful for their great goodness to Mildred, and extends a special 'thank you' to Derrick Bohl, for the companionship he shared with Millie.
Mildred's Christian faith was the most important thing to her. She truly loved God and let God's love shine through her. She was not afraid to die, knowing that she was going home to her Savior and her loved ones gone before her. If the measure of a successful life is the degree of love and compassion shown to others, then Mildred's life was truly well lived.
Funeral services for Mildred will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 at 2 p.m. at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 1 p.m. Rev. Jeff Jacobs will preside. Interment will be Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 at 11 a.m. at ST. PAUL'S LUTHERAN CEMETERY in Grafton, Wis.